Nicosia

Walking the Central Mountains & the Heart of Sicily

Destination
Nicosia
Dates From
01/06/2022
Duration
6 nights
7 nights
Price From
$2,205
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SELF GUIDED WALKING TOUR

Please note this is an independent walking tour, and can depart on any day requested.

This seven day tour takes you walk through the spectacular natural beauty of central Sicily, following unsealed country roads through rolling wheat fields to the forests of the Madonie National Park, staying in enchanting villages along the way.

Starting with a private pick up in either Palermo or Catania, we’ll take you into the mountains and rolling hills of the little visited heart of the interior of Sicily, where your tour starts in the bustling town of Nicosia.

During your walk, you’ll explore the cultural heritage of the area, which has been inhabited since ancient Greek times.  Each town and village has its own, often ancient, always fascinating story to tell.  It is an area relatively untouched by tourism.  It’s a tad rustic (ie limited internet coverage in parts and definitely no 4-star hotels) so if you don’t do rustic this is not the tour for you!  However, if you are bit adventurous, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get local, enjoy the famous Sicilian hospitality, its delicious seasonal cuisine as well as enjoying some long country rambles.

The is a Grade 3 walk. The walks range from 3 to 4 hours, covering between 12 to 15 kilometres.  They generally follow unsealed and sealed country lanes passing through rolling farmlands although there are also some short sections following smaller trails with uneven footing.  The trails are unmarked but are straight-forward to follow.

You will stay in a variety of accommodation, themselves often part of the area’s history, which are always comfortable and welcoming: two family-run ‘agriturismos’; a private apartment; a converted 13th century monastery; a 15th century convent (hosted by nuns) and finishing in a restored noble residence in the heart of an ancient village.

Food is one of the highlights of a visit to this prosperous area, all based on delicious seasonal vegetables and fruits and fresh farm produce, including cheeses like fresh ricotta and cacciacavallo; cured hams and salami; an amazing variety of breads; olives, eggplants and wild greens and, of course, those wonderful Sicilian pastries…..  Breakfasts and dinners are included in this tour.

Highlights & Inclusions

  • Six night’s accommodation
  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • Reading lists and historical and cultural notes
  • Maps with gps markers and walking instructions
  • Pick up and drop off in either Catania or Palermo
  • Daily transfers of baggage between hotels
  • 24 hour backup from local manager

Itinerary

Day 1

Private pick up in either Catania or Palermo and a 2 hour transfer to Nicosia in central Sicily. A
strategic point on the mountain road that linked eastern Sicily with Palermo, Nicosia grew up around
a 7th century Byzantine castle and flourished under Norman rule in the 12th century. Today is a
bustling agricultural town – pure Sicily!

Day 2

Your first walk is an easy hike across the valley to a tiny village that grew up around a rock outcrop
riddled with prehistoric cave dwellings. Mt Etna, 100 kms to the east, is visible from the village’s
impregnable castle. The village’s dialect still has traces of the French invaders who were garrisoned
here in the 13th century. (12 kms, 3 hrs)

Day 3

Today you have a long but gentle walk through rolling valleys with vast views of the mountains and
farmlands around you, finishing at a family-run agriturismo in a restored medieval abbey which has
been in the family since the end of the 18th century. (15 kms, 4 hrs).

Day 4

An easy day, today you climb up to a nearby town which must be one of the most unusual towns in
Sicily, a jumble of houses and lanes that tumble down the side of a spherical hill with a very good
local museum. Your accommodation is in a family run ‘agriturismo’ in the valley below the town.
You will have the option in the afternoon of doing a loop walk up to visit the town. (14 kms, 4.5 hrs)

Day 5

The walk today takes you through the valley and then up to a small town that was founded by the
ancient Greeks and was the seat of the medieval counts who ruled central Sicily from here in the 14th
and 15th centuries, the gateway to the Madonie National Park. Your accommodation tonight is in a
small convent just off the central piazza. (12 kms, 4 hrs)

Day 6

Today’s walk takes you sharply up from the town to a wide path the wraps around the side of a
mountain, taking you through pines forests and pastures with spectacular views back east across the
valleys and mountains, with Mt Etna as a backdrop, before descending to your final destination, an
extraordinary town that was founded by the Romans, one of the most interesting and beautiful
towns of the region. Your accommodation is in a recently restored villa in the heart of the town. (13
kms, 4 hrs)

Day 7

Your visit finishes this morning with a transfer to either Catania or Palermo, a two hour drive away.

DATES & PRICES

Starts Ends Price Status Book
01/06/202215/09/2022 $2,205p/p twin shareOn Request
Book Now

Exclusions

Single supplement (is available if required)
Optional excursions/sightseeing
City Tax: some City Councils may introduce a tourist tax that has to be paid directly at the hotel
Meals and beverages other than those specified
Tips/Gratuities
Everything which is not clearly specified under inclusions

* Please note, price is subject to fluctuation and availability is subject to change until booked and confirmed *